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The Most Common Car Accident Back Injuries and How to Deal with Them

Let’s discuss the three most common car accident back injuries, how they occur, and their common symptoms.

Back injuries are prevalent after car accidents, and they can take a long time to heal. Below, we will talk about the most common back injuries sustained in car accidents and how to deal with them.

car accident victim with a back injury

The Most Common Car Accident Injuries

There are a variety of different back injuries that can occur after a car accident, and some are more common than others. Let’s discuss the three most common car accident back injuries, how they occur, and their common symptoms.

The good news is that most of these injuries can be treated with rest and prescription pain medications (or surgical intervention). So if you experience one of these injuries, don’t wait— seek medical help and follow the doctor’s orders.


Did you know that around 3 million whiplash injuries occur every year and that most of these injuries result from auto accidents? Car accident-related whiplash injuries mainly occur when the head and neck (which is the start of the spinal column) are suddenly jerked backward and then forward. This type of injury can cause damage to the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and discs in the neck.

Symptoms of whiplash include neck/back pain, headache, dizziness, fatigue, difficulty turning the head, and numbness or tingling in the arms or hands. 

Vertebrae (Spinal) Fractures

The spinal column is made up of 33 individual, interlocking vertebrae. These bones work together to provide support and flexibility for the spine. A spinal fracture is a break in one or more of these Vertebrae, and it most often happens when the victim’s car is hit from the side or rear, and the force of the impact is transmitted up the spine. Here are the three most common spinal fractures:

  • Burst fractures: This occurs when the vertebrae are compressed and then smashed.
  • Compression fracture: This type of fracture occurs when the force of the impact is so great that it crushes the vertebrae.
  • Hyperextension fracture: This is a break in one or more of the vertebrae that occur when the spine is bent back too far.

Symptoms of a spinal fracture include back pain, tingling or numbness in the arms or legs, difficulty walking or standing, and swelling in the area around the break.

Slipped or Herniated Discs

The vertebrae that make up the spinal column are held in place by tough, rubbery discs. These discs act as shock absorbers and allow the spine to bend and twist. A slipped or herniated disc is a condition in which one of these discs ruptures or bulges out of its normal position. This can cause the disc to press on one or more spinal nerves, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs.

St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys

Have you or a loved one suffered a back injury in a car accident? Speak with an experienced car accident attorney at the Hoffman Law Firm today. We can evaluate your claim for free and help you determine what steps to take to protect your legal right to compensation.

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Updated: April 7, 2022